Buffalo Bills’ Sean McDermott Says He Has Found a Better Work-Life Balance as an NFL Head Coach

by Bryan Fyalkowski

This Father’s Day, Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott spent time with his family – away from the football field. Over the past few years, McDermott has learned a healthier work/life balance that sees him spending fewer hours in the office and more quality time at home with his family.

“The older I’ve gotten, the more you want to be a good husband, want to be a good father, want to be a good son and brother,” McDermott said. “There’s a balance.”

In a feature article published by The Buffalo News on Sunday, Katherine Fitzgerald talked with McDermott – as well as other coaches and players in the organization – to discuss how his leadership of the team has changed in recent years.

The 48-year-old McDermott got his first head coaching gig in 2017 with Buffalo after spending 16 seasons as an NFL assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers.

Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier worked with McDermott in Philadelphia back in the early 2000’s and said that he would sleep in his office a lot of nights. To some degree it is the requirement of the job, but also to some degree it was a young coach not setting boundaries – but he is doing that now.

“That’s a sign of growth, compared to a young Sean McDermott,” Frazier said. “He’s put a priority on family and spending time with our family, even though we spend a lot of hours here. A lot of hours. But he’s not one of those guys who will sleep at the office anymore, that’s way behind him.”

McDermott’s Learning Life Lessons

During the offseason, Sean McDermott would bring his kids (he has a son and two daughters) to work in the office two days a week, and welcomed other coaches and players to do the same.

After Buffalo wrapped up mandatory minicamp on Wednesday, McDermott told the team to unplug a bit before training camp starts in late July. He will use that time to rest and recharge before the preseason gets going. And before you know it, it will be more than seven straight months of football if the Bills go deep into the playoffs once again.

“I think that perspective is good. We’re going to unplug a little bit to get away and enjoy a little bit of what life has to offer,” McDermott said. “And then we fire back up at the end of July, and we get this thing cranked up all the way here.”

The head coach left with a little bit of wisdom, and his overall thoughts on his football future going forward.

“I want to win a lot of games. I have goals individually and personally for myself, for my career,” McDermott said. “And listen, wins are important – but nothing’s more important and spending those critical moments with your family.

“I want to be a good dad. I want to be a good husband. And you can’t get those minutes back.”